In the wake of weeks of naval blockades by neighboring Georgia, the Republic of Abkhazia announced today that it has signed a military defense pact with Russia, one which Russia says will be aimed at preventing Georgia from attempting to occupy the separatist enclave.
Following the pact, the Russian Coast Guard has warned that it will not allow the naval blockade to continue, and says it will detain any Georgian military ships which attempt to enter Abkhaz waters.
Georgia condemned both moves, saying the military pact proved that Russia was “barbaric” and that the coast guard’s comments proved that the Russian Coast Guard are pirates under international law.
Long enjoying de facto independence from Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared formal independence following the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia has not recognized the independence of either and has promised to use any means necessary to reclaim control over them.